(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s review board has decided there is enough evidence to move forward with a case against Lance Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France winner is accused of using performance enhancing drugs during his cycling days.
“USADA can confirm that the independent three-person Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB) has conducted a full evaluation and has made a unanimous recommendation to move forward with the adjudication process in accordance with the rules,” said a USADA statement.
Armstrong Friday shot off a response immediately, declaring his innocence and calling the USADA a “kangaroo court.” He referred to the allegations as a “complete sham.”
“USADA continues to sacrifice the values of fair play which is what, ironically, they claim to be attempting to protect. They have played dirty from the beginning and continue to let [Travis] Tygart carry out his own personal vendetta,” Armstrong said in an email to ABC News, directly calling out USADA CEO Travis Tygart. “The American taxpayer continues to fund this kangaroo court yet there’s no oversight or adult supervision. It’s a complete sham.”
While claiming the decision to proceed with the case is a waste of taxpayer funds, Armstrong said the USADA should be monitoring athletes who are preparing for this summer’s Olympic games, rather than spending time and resources on him — an athlete who has since retired from professional cycling.
The USADA said all respondents — in this case, Armstrong — have the right to a full hearing where all evidence and testimony can be presented before an independent panel of arbritators who will ultimately decide the outcome of the case.
Armstrong, who has decided to challenge the doping charges, could be stripped of this Tour de France titles if the panel rules against him.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Joshua Berlinger and Ashley Fantz, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN